Author Topic: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?  (Read 10473 times)

PRRfanatic

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Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« on: December 11, 2012, 09:22:03 PM »
Im not sure if anyone has anything on this. But Im from Ft Wayne originally and Im finally wanting to learn anything and everything about the history there. Looking for 19th and 20th century photos. 1800s thru 1980s. What I really wana find is old railroad maps in ft wayne that show all the old lines that were torn out or just city maps as well. 19th century is any exist and up to the 1970s. I dont expect anyone to reply but I had to try. Im curious about to spots in town I cant trace the rails. I remember as a kid there were tracks that went right by the old fort but cant see them or trace where they went on google maps. Also there was a line that ran along Parnell ave next to northside park. There is no evidence what so ever on google maps of it besides alittle north by the Collisium. Hope someone can help,. This has been on my mind for days.

PRRfanatic

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2012, 09:44:29 PM »
Well it was worth a try. Didnt expect anything. This site is kind of dead these days. Seems like people are just losing interests in trains. I think I like them more then anyone lol. But I def dont know near as much as many others but am trying to learn,. Ill keep looking online and hopefully find what Im looking for, Thanks anyway. PRRfanatic

IndyKing

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2012, 10:13:50 PM »
From your description of the line running along Parnell Avenue, I think this was a streetcar/interurban line.  Take a look at the following link to a schematic map of the Fort Wayne's streetcar lines (http://www.chicagorailfan.com/fwamapt.html).  My suspicion is that the line to which you are referring was the Centlivre Short Line (route #13 on the map) at points just East and North of where it makes the T with the Pontiac-3rd Street line, where it says Spy Run on the map.  I hope this helps.

This site is kind of dead these days.
??? Consider this a gift from a ghost then! ;D
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indrr

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2012, 11:05:39 PM »
Im not sure if anyone has anything on this. But Im from Ft Wayne originally and Im finally wanting to learn anything and everything about the history there. Looking for 19th and 20th century photos. 1800s thru 1980s. What I really wana find is old railroad maps in ft wayne that show all the old lines that were torn out or just city maps as well. 19th century is any exist and up to the 1970s. I dont expect anyone to reply but I had to try. Im curious about to spots in town I cant trace the rails. I remember as a kid there were tracks that went right by the old fort but cant see them or trace where they went on google maps. Also there was a line that ran along Parnell ave next to northside park. There is no evidence what so ever on google maps of it besides alittle north by the Collisium. Hope someone can help,. This has been on my mind for days.
The line immediately next to the "Fort" was a spur to the water treatment plant. As I recall, it was originally served by the interurban.

What era are you speaking about for the Parnell line? There was once an interurban/streetcar line along State Blvd to the old Childrens Home that supplied them with coal. It was gone by the 50s or before. It never ran north of that.

There was a line from Centlivre along the river to the old Robison Park that would've crossed Parnell near the Coliseum through Johnny Appleseed Park and then on north a few miles to the park. It was removed in the 1920s, so if you remember that from your childhood, congratulations.

You'll probably enjoy the Allen County GIS viewer: http://www.acimap.us/viewer/ They now have a couple years of historic aerials available on there.

As for other maps, I'll see what I can come up with, and I'm sure others will chime in.

Well it was worth a try. Didnt expect anything. This site is kind of dead these days. Seems like people are just losing interests in trains. I think I like them more then anyone lol. But I def dont know near as much as many others but am trying to learn,. Ill keep looking online and hopefully find what Im looking for, Thanks anyway.
Really? You give up after 20 minutes? You have got to give posters time to respond. Sometimes, it takes 20 minutes just to type a response, let alone find and read all of the posts first.
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Racecar52

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2012, 11:25:27 PM »
Well it was worth a try. Didnt expect anything. This site is kind of dead these days. Seems like people are just losing interests in trains. I think I like them more then anyone lol. But I def dont know near as much as many others but am trying to learn,. Ill keep looking online and hopefully find what Im looking for, Thanks anyway. PRRfanatic

In the time that passed between your two posts, you could have tried using the search function.  You'd be surprised to find most all of this had been covered at one point or another, so take the time to look for it.  ;)

also, where google maps fail, try www.historicaerials.com/
« Last Edit: December 12, 2012, 12:33:51 AM by BlackCavalier52 »
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PRRfanatic

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2012, 11:35:15 PM »
Sorry i didnt mean to be impatient. Just had one of those days. I didnt know anything about an interurban along state street,Yes that is exactly what Im talking about the line going through Johnny appleseed.I saw a picture on a fort wayne history site that showed Northside park with a bunch of box cars in the background. I followed the line north but lost it around 469. Couldnt figure out where it went south of state street.. I dont remember there being tracks there but you could tell where they use to cross colisium. I wonder if they tore up the tracks by the old for yet. Seems like I remember them crossing spy run heading east but not to sure. I remember as a child my grand father whp worked as a frieght salesman for the PRR took me to see what I think was the 765 under restoration back in the early 90s. It was at HWI in New Haven,. Maybe it wasnt the 765 but i dont know what else it could have been

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2012, 11:49:07 PM »
I have mapped the Robison Park line, which was abandoned in 1919:


This was not the same as the line along State to the Childrens Home in Northside Park (which is #13 on the map link IndyKing posted). Northside Park and Johnny Appleseed Park are not the same.

As for other railroads that crossed Coliseum, the NYC (originally Michigan Central) line ran up next to Glenbrook. It was pretty much gone north of Lima Road by the early 1980s, and now is pretty much all built over.

The spur to the treatment plant next to the fort and crossing Spy Run was taken up in the late 90s or early 2000s. A trail is there now.
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PRRfanatic

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2012, 03:42:24 AM »
why do they allways rip up the tracks. They looked cool as I remember. So the parnell line wasnt a frieght line? Why did it go to the park? Where is that park? I know Northside park isnt the same, I use to work right by parnell across from Northside high school at the Chevy dealership.

PRRfanatic

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2012, 03:47:32 AM »
Also that map shows the line not next to Parnell. Its on the other side of the river. The photo I saw of Northside park was looking west and I saw box cars. They even said something about it in the Photo

CIOR

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2012, 10:23:36 AM »
Well it was worth a try. Didnt expect anything. This site is kind of dead these days. Seems like people are just losing interests in trains. I think I like them more then anyone lol. But I def dont know near as much as many others but am trying to learn,. Ill keep looking online and hopefully find what Im looking for, Thanks anyway. PRRfanatic
WOW 22 minutes to find all that info and the site is kinda dead?  :)  there are new members daily and every section is active. Be patient because not everyone is on here 24/7 and some don't even get online each day. You can use the search feature and find many thugs on here already covered. Considering we have been here since 1998!  There is a lot of info on this site.

Wes Lewis

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2012, 11:41:43 AM »
Not Michigan Central.  It was the Fort Wayne and Jackson/Lake Shore and Michigan Southern/New York Central/Penn Central and the short ended remnant that crossed Coliseum into the nineties was Conrail.  Now, some of it is a bike path, particularly between Dupont Road and Wallen Road, on the north side, with intentions of taking it on north to Auburn in time. 

Patience, you'll find the Internet sites a wonderful thing with some patience.  I've found so many things on here and other sites that I never, ever expected to see and, in a pre-Internet world, would never have.

indrr

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2012, 12:32:44 PM »
Not Michigan Central.  It was the Fort Wayne and Jackson/Lake Shore and Michigan Southern/New York Central/Penn Central and the short ended remnant that crossed Coliseum into the nineties was Conrail.  Now, some of it is a bike path, particularly between Dupont Road and Wallen Road, on the north side, with intentions of taking it on north to Auburn in time. 

Patience, you'll find the Internet sites a wonderful thing with some patience.  I've found so many things on here and other sites that I never, ever expected to see and, in a pre-Internet world, would never have.
Thanks for the correction! I don't know what I was thinking.
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PRRfanatic

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2012, 12:44:52 PM »
Thanks and sorry again. Now I just need to figure out where it tied in south of parnell and try and find the path north it goes. Still cant get past 465 before it disappears. Hope to find some pictures. Going to find thAT PICTURE of Northside park to show you all indeed that the line ran next to Parnell. Also going to try finding any old fort wayne railroading photos. Looking to find 19th century photos and any up to the 80s. Looking for PRR which my grand father worked for in Pittsburgh and NYC , PC ,Conrail, Chessis, any of them im looking for. Ill try and post some here too.

PRRfanatic

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2012, 12:47:02 PM »
Here is the Oldest known railroad photo in ft wayne. Before the civil war. 1863. I believe this is on the south east side of town at what became what they called the Pennsy shops


PRRfanatic

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2012, 07:20:08 PM »
Im checking those maps now. Here is a photo of the Coliseum after being built in the 50s. You can see where the rail line was behind it running through Johnny Appleseed park. I need to find a Ft Wayne Railroad historicaL expert.

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2012, 08:07:42 PM »
Here is the Oldest known railroad photo in ft wayne. Before the civil war. 1863. I believe this is on the south east side of town at what became what they called the Pennsy shops

Great picture.  All wood burners.  Cheap and plentiful fuel in those days.
No train expert here fellas, just your average history buff...

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2012, 09:06:07 PM »
Great picture of the Coliseum from when it was first built. Amazingly, the building stayed and looked the same up until the mid-1980's with the first of two expansions. As for the railroad line behind it, that is the by-then abandoned interurban line that ran from downtown to RObinson Park, and as others have stated, it was removed about 1920. It also was the right-of-way of teh feeder canal for the Wabash Canal, bringing water upstream along the St Joseph River to feed the canal just west of downtown before the canal crossed the St Mary's. I have a pair of pictures of this feeder canal and the former right-of-way on google earth, with links of them here.
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/81813482
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/81813475

Wes Lewis

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2012, 09:47:46 PM »
You might go to www.fwarailfan.net and poke around a bit.  There's a lot of pictures there, some of them aren't of the best quality but there's a lot of Fort Wayne pics.  Also, www.northamericaninterlockings.com has numerous pictures of Indiana and Ohio interlocking towers.

PRRfanatic

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2012, 12:04:01 AM »
So what railroad did I see on parnell next to northside park? They were railroad cars for sure. My other question is. Where is this park the interurban went too? Can not find it and I grew up in ft wayne. Born and raised there. Was it an amusement park? Seems like alot of money to spend putting down rails just to go to a park .

indrr

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2012, 12:39:12 AM »
So what railroad did I see on parnell next to northside park? They were railroad cars for sure.
The only thing that I can think of is the electric/interurban spur to the Childrens Home (which was located where Northside Park is now). They may have had a boxcar pushed over there for some reason. Primary purpose of the spur was to deliver coal for the Home's boilers. The spur would've been gone by the 1950s.

If you could find and post the photo, or a link to it, that'd be extremely helpful.

Quote
My other question is. Where is this park the interurban went too? Can not find it and I grew up in ft wayne. Born and raised there. Was it an amusement park? Seems like alot of money to spend putting down rails just to go to a park .
Unless you grew up prior to 1920, no, you wouldn't have seen the park. It closed and was demolished around that year. There are supposedly concrete foundations in and near the river still, but any other remnant is now beneath the subdivision. Take a look at the map I posted earlier; the loop at the north end was where the park was. Google "Robison Park Fort Wayne" (not "Robinson") and you'll find several sites with information.

Trolleys and interurbans often had lines to amusement parks, parks, or cemeteries in order to drive up ridership. In order to get to the amusement parks, people would have to ride the trolley/interurban. On the east coast, this was a pretty common of their trolley/interurban systems, and in Indiana there are a few examples of this. Robison Park near Fort Wayne, Broad Ripple Park in Broad Ripple, Riverside Park in Indianapolis, and parks near Wabash and Winchester that I forget the names of.
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PRRfanatic

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2012, 01:08:49 AM »
That makes sense now. I didnt know the Childrens home was at Northside park. I believe there is still a building there. I also didnt know interurban hauled frieght or box cars. Very interesting. I will look for the photo after work tomorrow. I wonder why they tore out the park. Humans do stupid destructive things way to much. Its a shame they tear up to many rail lines

MFromholt

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2012, 06:35:35 AM »
Don't quote me on this, but Robinson Park was gone by the 1920's as well, located along the St Joseph River just north of Concordia Gardebs. The site is now covered by a housing development that was built in the 1990's. I visited the area back in about 1981 by a local, and some remains could be seen then, such as the foundation of the dance hall. All wiped out when they built the new houses. Wish to heck I had taken pics back then. If you google it, you will find some links about it here and there. I do recall that the park was built as a means to supplement the interurban line's income.

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2012, 12:38:48 PM »
Robison Park (as an amusement park) did succumb early on.  The rides were all moved to West Swinney Park and were known as Trier's Park.  However, the Robison Park property remained for many years.  I recall going there in the late 50's/early 60's for my dad's union picnic.  There was a large pavillion where they had the actual event.

I also remember one day while coming home from IPFW (aka Bypass High in those days) and seeing all of Spy Run stripped of asphalt for a resurfacing project.  Being of the railfan sort, I drove down into town and followed Spy Run north from the river.  ALL of the trolley track was visible.  Driving up the brick street, one could see where all the spurs went.  All the entrances into what had been the Shops (I&M) were visible as well as the tracks turning east onto the State Street bridge.  What was also visible was the spur that went to the Centlivre Brewery (Old Crown by then).  It left the streetcar track at the curves onto the bridge and ran along the east side of Spy Run (not in the middle as I expected) and ran north.  Just before the old curve that used to go between the brewery buildings, it swung slightly west into the street and then reverse curved back into the newer building that was on the right.  There was a large opening in that building where I used to see delivery trucks and that is where the track went.

If you are interested in local RR history, I would like to invite you to attend one of the Three Rivers RR Heritage Meetings.  We meet several times per year in the restored Baker Street Depot.  Our next meeting is the 3rd Sunday in January at 2 pm.  The program for that meeting has not been finalized yet but you are still welcome to attend and the cost is free.  (Unless you wnat to join!)

PRRfanatic

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2012, 10:56:31 PM »
Please keep me informed on that. I would like to attend,. I wana learn more and more. So when you saw all them tracks did they tear them up or repave back over them?

storrs19

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #25 on: December 14, 2012, 10:23:11 AM »

Really? You give up after 20 minutes? You have got to give posters time to respond. Sometimes, it takes 20 minutes just to type a response, let alone find and read all of the posts first.

Lol.   ;D
Also, some of us work and or have families and life in general too.   ;)

Sometimes it takes a few days to get some responses but myself I'd rather wait a bit and get a detailed and usually more correct reply.
Following the remains of the B&O in Southern Indiana

PRRfanatic

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #26 on: December 16, 2012, 03:02:44 PM »
Ok people cant we drop that now??? Geeessssss I have a life too. Keep that shit to yourself

rrnut282

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #27 on: December 16, 2012, 05:19:31 PM »
Grow some skin.  Being kidded for a faux pas around here is a part of being accepted as part of the group.

I'm doing good if I read through here twice in one week.  By that time most questions have been answered, so I rarely get to reply with anything useful.  Yet, I still get to learn something, because I am patient, and usually, there is someone who knows more about that particular subject than I.
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indrr

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #28 on: December 17, 2012, 09:16:56 AM »
Ok, let it drop.
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Steve

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #29 on: December 17, 2012, 12:41:39 PM »
"Please keep me informed on that. I would like to attend,. I wana learn more and more. So when you saw all them tracks did they tear them up or repave back over them?"
At that time, they were just paved over.  I think subsequent repavings have removed some of the rail.

PRRfanatic

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #30 on: December 18, 2012, 07:26:51 PM »
That doesnt suprise me. Im going to head back up to Ft wayne and go check out some of the old abandoned lines. Need to visit anyway.

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #31 on: December 21, 2012, 09:28:21 AM »
In the interest of perfection, it was Robison, not Robinson, Park (only one letter N).  It was originally Swift Park, but was renamed Robison as a favor to the supervisor of the park, as I recall.

The track that served Robison Park was part of Ft. Wayne’s street car system and it was served by street cars.  The track ran north from downtown on Spy Run Ave., then up Clinton St. where Clinton and Spy run merge today.  At the green house 120 ft. north of Field St., the track turned from Clinton and ran east to Spy Run Ave. Extended, then ran northerly along the west bank of the St. Joe River/feeder canal to the park.

After the park closed, the track remained in place for many years, and ISC and successor I&M dumped cinders from the power house along the right-of-way.

The track serving the State School at State and Parnell entered the school property at the northeast corner of the intersection and turned north parallel to Parnell.  The attached photo of a freight motor leaving the school is on pg. 59 of the Toledo & Chicago Interurban book. 

Bills of lading for freight to the school listed coal hoppers, refrigerator cars and box cars.  I’d like to see a photo of freight cars on the school property. 

Electric rail service by interurban freight motors on the street tracks to the State School, Centlivre Brewery and the City’s water filtration plant continued after the interurban was abandoned in 1945.  The service to all three was terminated March 30, 1952.  I don’t know if non-electric rail service continued to Centlivre or the school after that date, but probably not – citizens were putting pressure on the City to stop running freight trains on the streets.

The City continued to serve its water filtration plant by Trackmobile, and in 1952 or 1953, it re-routed the track and stopped running on Spy Run Ave.  The new track to the filtration plant ran along Fourth St. from the NYC yards, and through residential back yards to the plant.  The last of this track was removed in 2010 or 2011.

Craig Berndt


PRRfanatic

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #32 on: December 22, 2012, 02:01:07 AM »
Wow thanks for that information. You sure know alot . Im sure theres gotta be alot of photos out there somewhere

MFromholt

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #33 on: December 22, 2012, 06:54:36 AM »


Not all the track to the filtration plant was removed, I took these three pictures just last week for my postings on google earth. The first one is of rails still in concrete along Fourth Street. The other two are of the trestle that was built to carry the rail spur across Spy Run Creek, which has now been converted to become part of the St Joseph River Greenway.

Eel_River

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #34 on: December 22, 2012, 10:55:41 PM »
MFromHolt:

Thanks for the photos, and you are correct as to the last of the track.   A City project at the filtration plant removed the last track on that site a few years ago.  We salvaged a spring switch and it is now in service at the Illinois Railway Museum.

Craig 

PRRfanatic

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #35 on: January 04, 2013, 06:18:39 PM »
Thats awesome.I saw that section on google earth. They should leave more rail down. I wonder why they left that small section of Rail. The better question is how long before they rip that out.... Wonder when the last time a train went on them rails.....???

Markedup

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #36 on: January 15, 2013, 09:08:47 AM »
So what railroad did I see on parnell next to northside park? They were railroad cars for sure. My other question is. Where is this park the interurban went too? Can not find it and I grew up in ft wayne. Born and raised there. Was it an amusement park? Seems like alot of money to spend putting down rails just to go to a park .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             There will be a meeting of the Three Rivers Railroad Heritage Council on Sunday, Jan. 20 at the former PRR Depot on Baker Street in Fort Wayne at 2:00 pm.  Craig Berndt will present a show on the five interurbans that operated out of Fort Wayne.


Hope to see you there.

PRRfanatic

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #37 on: January 23, 2013, 10:47:10 AM »
Sorry I couldnt make it. I live in Indy. Hope to make it there this summer. Going to come back to ft wayne anyway to check out the rails anyway

rrnut282

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #38 on: January 23, 2013, 11:01:06 AM »
......They should leave more rail down. I wonder why they left that small section of Rail.....
If you look closely, the rail is imbedded in concrete with a manhole between the rails.  It will be a royal PITA to remove.  A large excavator or a big jack-hammer or more likely, both will be needed to remove.  There is a good chance that the concrete is sealing the manhole casting, so the casting would have to be re-set.  All that costs money. 

If you can answer who will pay for the removal and why, you'll be able to answer when it will be removed.
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PRRfanatic

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #39 on: January 23, 2013, 11:11:41 AM »
they shouldnt remove it

rrnut282

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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #40 on: January 23, 2013, 11:57:05 AM »
As long as it isn't harming anyone or in the way of something, it "should" be safe
rrnut2-8-2
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Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #41 on: January 23, 2013, 12:09:11 PM »
Thats good to know

PRRfanatic

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  • Posts: 221
Re: Fort Wayne railroad history and old railroad maps?
« Reply #42 on: January 23, 2013, 12:10:51 PM »
Although I bet eventually they fix up the sideway around that area. Hope they leave it when that happens